BTS010, I’m Back with an Update On Writing, Reading, and Podcasting
So, I’m back after another podcasting hiatus.
I’ve been thinking about whether I should restart my podcast at the beginning of January in 2019 or now even though its already halfway through December. And, then I thought “why am I putting this off? I should just start now.” Now is always a great time to start. So, this is why you’re getting an episode today, after my last episode which was in July or September. You get it, it’s been a long time since my last episode. But, if you’ve just found the podcast today, you’re thinking “what hiatus?” and none of this is making any sense to you.
And, I have a few announcements both personal and writing-related that I can’t wait to share with you. I also want to discuss a few changes to the podcast and how I plan on structuring the episodes. Going forward, I aim to be more transparent about changes to the podcast and any reasons for long sabbaticals. Without, further ado, let’s get started.
BTS010, I'm Back with an Update on Writing, Reading, and Podcasting
The BTS Podcast Diary Episode Format
As I looked back over the previous episodes of my Behind The Scenes Podcast Diary, I’ve realised that I never highlighted the format that you can expect from this show. Now, that I’ve reached the tenth episode, I’ve found a format or flow for the diary that seems to work well. I aim to start with a quick personal update that should last for no longer than one minute. After this, I will share a writing-related update, followed by the main content which is a lesson I’ve learned along my writing journey during the past few weeks or months. All of these segments of the show should not extend beyond fifteen minutes, and the bulk of the time will be spent sharing the lessons I’ve learned.
So, I won’t be waffling on at length about what I’m doing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some people like the chatty formatted podcast. But, I like to chat, and I tend to ramble, so this is why a lot of my episodes sound scripted. I want to stick to the main content and not steer off to some random tangent that isn’t beneficial for you, because that’s why I created this podcast. I didn’t create this podcast to talk about myself, I created it for you, and I want it to be of value to you. So, that’s why I script the episodes. I want to stay on topic. And, I’ve gone on another tangent. This paragraph that you’re reading is why I like to script these episodes.
Our New Apartment in London
When Roland and I first moved in, I never stopped to consider the noise from the traffic along the busy road that’s outside our apartment and how it would affect my podcast recordings. I remember the first time I stepped into this apartment; I loved it. There was so much more room than our tiny one-bedroom apartment which was Roland’s bachelor pad, but I moved in a ruined that for him. I distinctly remember walking through the rooms and falling in love with the apartment. And, it’s almost as if I had a brain-dead moment.
I didn’t consider the noise from the road outside and how it would affect my podcast recordings. At the same time that I moved, I purchased another microphone, the Blue Yeti. The Blue Yeti lets all of the noise into the recordings, even though I can control the direction that the microphone picks up the noise, I now still have issues. I can hear it in the podcast recordings of the previous episodes. And, I cannot listen to those episodes because of the background noise. The traffic sounds annoy me that much. I’m considering going back and recording those episodes again. That does sound a bit bizarre, however, that’s my perfectionist nature setting in, again.
The Joys of Living Along a Main Road
Since that fateful day, there have been an extreme number of roadworks both planned and emergency as well as some type of renovations going on in the background. All of this noise seeps into the recording of my podcast. And, in turn, has resulted in more time spent editing my podcast. The thing with audio recording is, the more you play with the audio in post-production, the more ridiculous it sounds. And it gets to the point where the time spent editing and trying different things isn’t worth it. At one stage I was considering hiring a recording studio but that’s super expensive.
I’ve purchased new equipment and tried out other rooms in the house, but what I’ve tried hasn’t worked up until this recording. So, all of the roadworks has resulted in me having to wait until the works are finished in order to record another episode. I’ve been a little hesitant to discuss this with you because it sounds like I’m listing a whole heap of excuses to disguise my laziness. And that’s what it sounds like, and excuse, but this has been my life up until this point.
A Non-Conventional Recording Space
A few days before Roland and I left on a five day trip to Florence; I decided to try recording in the bathroom. Just as a super desperate last-minute attempt before I started looking for a recording studio. And trying to figure out how I was going to fund that expense and continue to podcast. The bathroom is located at the back right-hand corner of the apartment and is closer to the centre of the main building. Our apartment is in a building that was renovated and turned into a group of flats. The apartment we chose has a cute veranda and faces a busy road.
Back to the bathroom. I set up the recording equipment and shut the door and recorded. And, guess what? No noise from the traffic seeped into the test recording. I couldn’t believe it. How have I not consider this earlier? The only problem I have is a slight echo, but it doesn’t detract from the listening experience. I’ve played the test recording so many times and concluded that it might be okay. But, to make sure, I shared the test recording with a few other people to get a bit of feedback. The feedback I got was positive. I had some tell me that they’ve listened to podcasts with a more prominent echo than mine. So, I concluded that I was right and the echo wouldn’t distract the listener from the content.
My new podcasting setup complete with uni-cat slippers.
Less Audio Editing
So, yes, this episode was recorded from my bathroom. There’s a part of me that’s struggling with the concept of recording in my bathroom, but it means less editing time, and no traffic to filter out. If you’ve listened to the previous episodes, then you know that filtering out the traffic isn’t possible. For those of you who are a little curious about my new podcasting setup because it does sound a bit ridiculous, I shared a photo over on the Instagram account for the podcast. The Instagram account handle is ‘indieauthorpod’. And, yes, at the time of this recording I was standing with my Blue Yeti microphone on a stand in my bathroom, sipping at a cup of peppermint tea between the recording of the segments of the episode. I think its a bit weird, a little quirky, but I’m a little quirky; so that makes sense.
My Podcasting Schedule
After much deliberation, I’ve decided on the recording schedule for this podcast based on feedback from the ninth episode of the Behind The Scenes Podcast Diary. There will be two diary episodes per month and two episodes on writing craft until the end of season one. After the end of season one, I will be releasing weekly Behind The Scenes podcast diary episodes until the start of season two. I hope all of that makes sense for you. However, during the month of November, I’ll focus on weekly Behind the Scenes diary episodes, where I will update you on my progress with my novella revisions. The podcast episodes will be released every week on Sunday at 9:00 AM EST.
An Update On Writing
At the time of this recording, I’ve finished writing the first draft of Missing, and I’m having a break before diving into revisions. I officially finished writing on the second of November. It’s been almost a month. I want to make sure that I get some distance between me and the narrative. I’m a little over my word count goal for Missing at 33,135 words. This increase in my total word count means I’ve written 6,562 extra words since the last podcast diary update. During this time I’ve made line edits to the second half of the novella and submitted the scenes to my alpha reader. These edits have brought the total word count from 6,562 to 6,221 extra words since episode nine.
I’m now waiting on my alpha-reader to read the revised first draft and to send me notes. My revision plans have been put on hold because I want to include the feedback from my alpha reader in my revisions. I’m essentially treating my alpha-reader as a light developmental edit. There are a few story elements in Missing that I’m not entirely happy with as a writer that relate to the level of realism in the story, and I’m interested in finding out whether my first reader feels the same way. I guess this is a way of checking whether realism is a problem in the story or if I’m over analysing and obsessing over Missing. Because this isn’t the first time that I’ve obsessed over a story. I need to check if this is a problem or if this just me.
A New Feature on Goodreads
Over the last few weeks, I’ve received notifications and advertisements on Goodreads asking me to link my Amazon account, and over the weekend, I took the plunge. Basically, the linking or syncing feature allows you to add books that you’ve purchased through Amazon to your Goodreads want to read list. I like to keep my TBR books on my kindle in a collection, and there’s a nerdy part of me that loves this new level of organisation on Goodreads. There was one thing I did not expect when I activated this feature, and that was notes and highlights made within books on my kindle have also been imported into Goodreads. Hopefully, this feature will make book reviews a little easier. I’ll include a picture of this feature in the show notes over on my blog.
What I’m Reading
While we’re discussing things related to reading, about a month ago, I finished reading Absolute Proof by Peter James.
Absolute Proof is the first novel written by Peter James that I’ve read. I know he has hundreds of other novels, but this particular book grabbed my attention because if it’s beautiful cover with heavy gold embossing. And, spoiler alert, I love it. The story ticks all the right boxes for me. It’s about an investigative journalist who is investigating a religious conspiracy theory. In thrillers, I tend to lover story that doesn’t feature spies or ex-military types of protagonists. I’ve always found the world of investigative journalism quite intriguing which is probably why I’ve written a thriller series featuring a protagonist who is a journalist.
The novel was hard to put down, and it was becoming a problem because I need to start revising Missing December. But, my panic about not being able to put the book down became irrelevant once I realised that I hadn’t given my alpha reader enough time. So, I highly recommend Absolute Proof, if you like novels by Dan Brown, James Rollin’s, or J.F. Penn; if you like a religious conspiracy theory with an intelligent protagonist who investigates something.
I hope you enjoyed this update style podcast diary. Have you tried out the connecting Amazon and Goodreads feature? What do you think? Do you love it or hate it? Let me know by coming over to the blog post and share your experience with connecting your Goodreads and Amazon accounts in the comments section.
Thank you for listening, reading, commenting and sharing with such enthusiasm.
I’m Amelia. I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Missing, the first book in the James Lalonde series. On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process. Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.